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Fatstock away

Sunday 12 October, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 9:51am in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

Autumn is my favourite time of year and if it didn't involve sending animals to the abattoir, it would be perfect. Still, it has to be done.

We used James Chapman's Shotts abattoir this year for the first time and, because we had a few animals ready to go and given the distance (90 miles), we used a haulier. Needless to say, I wasn't very comfortable with the changes, which were really forced on us by Dunblane abattoir's refusal to take our stock, following a complaint I made about the relief slaughterman's handling of our cull sheep back in the spring.

Back to work

Tuesday 5 August, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 9:11am in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

I can't believe it's two weeks since my last diary entry - so much for daily diary!

So we're into August now; Dan went back to the office yesterday. With the Festival only seven weeks away and Christmas being his busy period in his own business, he's going to be pretty flat out between now and December.

We did manage to complete a good number of things on "the list" and at the end of last week, we sat down and reviewed it. We took some things off - like slabbing round the henhouses, which we decided to do two years ago, bought the slabs but now think it's probably not a great idea - and added a couple, like repairing fence at Astwod and pointing the wall in Sheepfold. We've now programmed the remaining projects into the monthly plans for the rest of 2014 and it doesn't look too deadly - but of course, it won't GO to plan :-)

Getting ready for Kirrie Show

Friday 18 July, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 12:59pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

Tomorrow is Kirriemuir Show, which is our local agricultural show. At the moment, the weather forecast isn't too promising but hopefully it will improve in the next 24 hours :-) The show was cancelled three years ago and it cost them a huge amount of money - hard to recover from that but they have.

We're taking Annie and Rosie; they're entered in the "Other Native Breed" section of the cattle show. Last year, the "Other Native Breeds" were combined with the Aberdeen Angus, which didn't go down very well but to be fair to the organisers, the previous year, there was only us.

How did it get from Friday to Wednesday?

Wednesday 16 July, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 10:54am in Smallholding 2 comments Add your own

Well, the daily posts have certainly fallen by the wayside and I have no idea what's happened to the weekend, Monday and Tuesday.

Well, actually, yesterday was easy. It was my birthday, so we had the day off and went for lunch at Pig Halle in Perth. If you get a chance to go, do. The food is very good - but best to book to avoid disappointment. I had lambs kidneys in a mustard sauce to start, followed by braised pork belly, pakchoi and rice, then a blueberry, vanilla and raspberry mousse affair. Dan had pig's trotter in filo pastry with hazlenuts, followed by the chef's wee selection of desserts and coffee. Then we popped round to the attached deli for some walnut bread and some macaroons. Yum.

What day is it?

Friday 11 July, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 2:00pm in Smallholding 2 comments Add your own

OK, I've now lost track of the days :-)

Wednesday, we split off the seven gimmers, Crovected them and took them up to the bloke we buy our hay and straw from. He's fenced off a nice wee paddock for them and his youngest laddie's going to keep an eye on them for us. It's a bit long, so he's going to top it as well. It's a good sheltered paddock so I might winter some sheep up there too.

No idea what we did the rest of the day, but we were busy. I  milked Annie; she's very good but I could get zilch yesterday. She was much better today and I'm going to try making some soft cheese tomorrow.

TJP Day 11 Max Dudley and wood

Tuesday 8 July, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 8:05pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

Been a few days since a diary entry - it's now Tuesday and the previous one was Thursday. I can't remember what we did on Friday - some general tidying and preparation for the weekend's courses, I guess. We had an Introduction to Smallholding on Saturday and a Sheepkeeping for Beginners on Sunday. We enjoy doing courses - we've met a lot of lovely folk and many of them keep in touch through TAS or by coming and saying "hello" at the Festival and other events.

We have lodgers! Max and Dudley, my chum's two Labradors, are here for two weeks while she's on holiday. They're lovely dogs - well mannered and friendly - but those tails! And they're just at Meg's head height, poor wee soul. They wouldn't bat Tess with their tails - well, maybe once.

TJP Day 6 Sheep and weeds

Friday 4 July, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 8:48am in Smallholding 2 comments Add your own

Day 6 (Thursday) was about bringing our forty sheep home from rented grazing. OMG, how did it get to be forty? We've got a sheep course here on Sunday and it would be poor if we had no sheep here.

Took us three trips, but it all went smoothly. Before we brought the last group home, we moved Storm, George and Charlie into a fresh paddock where they are up to their bellies in grass. It's only six weeks until we bring Storm back to run with the cows. Tempus fugit :-)

Other than the sheep transporting, Dan did some general tidying up, cut the grass and so on before taking time for some well deserved relaxation, with Tess, Felix and Blossom.

The July Project Day 5

Wednesday 2 July, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 3:54pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

Yay! Day 5 of the July Project and it's only the 2nd! Needless to say, "the plan" is undergoing some adjustment :-)

The new guttering for the barn extension is coming on Friday (our neighbour has a roofing company so he's getting it for us at a good price) so putting it up is now Friday's job. Dan's sorted out sleepers for the IBCs to sit on BUT plumbing them in will have to wait until the contactor has been here to concrete the floor. Phone call for me to make in a minute :-)

The July Project Day 3 and 4

Tuesday 1 July, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 7:46pm in Smallholding 1 comment Add your own

Well, Day 3 (Monday) was quite interesting.

I milked Annie for the first time. The delay (her calf is a month old) was because I couldn't get my head round the logistics, but thanks to a prod from Sally in't North, I got my bum in gear. Annie was very good, I reckon. Her two front quarters are much easier to milk, being larger and more accessible, than the back ones so I might leave them for Rosie (the calf). The other problem is that I'm not the most dextrous peson in the world - and my left had is really just for decoration :-( Still, I'm sure if I persevere, I'll get better.

The July Project Day 2

Sunday 29 June, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 8:48pm in Smallholding 2 comments Add your own

Well, we finished the electric fence and it works. Ponies have been on the track this evening but there's quite a lot of grass on it, so access will continue to be restricted for a wee while. Smokey's still lame :-(

Sheepfold electric fenceRenovation of electric fence completed.

Today's job was to move the pile of stones from the spot where the trailer usually sits to the orchard, where they are going to be used to make tree guards. The round stones and the wee scrappy bits are going on the other stone pile for - well, who knows :-) So at close of play today, about half of the stones have been loaded. They'll go up to the orchard in the morning, be unloaded and the rest taken up after.

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